Mary's Boarding House and the Art of War, Episode Three for Podcast

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
The third episode, adapted for podcast from the original series of the same name, by the same author.

Submitted: May 20, 2016

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Submitted: May 20, 2016

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Mary’s Boarding House and the Art of War (podcast script), Episode Three

Adapted for radio or a podcast from the original series of the same name by Jim Pack

Original Copyright date March 5, 2015

(Episode three)

As the episode begins we hear Mary Thornberg reading the following quote:

“Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness.  Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness.  Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate”.

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Then the instrumental “Shamanistic” by Kevin Macleod begins in the background soundtrack.  It’s on YouTube. 

Ryan Running Dog (the narrator)

Mary’s Boarding House, and the Art of War, Episode Three by the Long Knife Jim Pack, who wrote it.

My name is Ryan Running Dog.  I am your host and narrator.  You need a host and narrator to explain things to you that you cannot see because this is a audio podcast and not a live action drama.  I know I have said this before, but…

Johnny Aguas Caliente

Yeah, yeah we know already.  You are an Indian of the Western Shoshone, Cedar Valley Goshute Band of Indians.  And the PC crowd will be wanting you to refer to yourself as “Running Dog the Western Shoshone Native American”.  But you want to be called an American Indian, yada, yada, yada.  Get on with it!!  You’re becoming a redundant embarrassment to all native peoples. 

Narrator

Excuse me Apache, but you are not even in this episode.

Johnny

Excuse me Goshute, but you are taking forever to get to my episode, with the way you keep dragging out the narration and padding your part, to make it bigger than what it was meant to be. (Johnny then gets up and crosses over to the director) I’m going to the Starbucks to have a Grande Latte.  Send a runner when its time to cue me for places.  Give me a 10 minute window.  

Narrator

Said the rude, angry and impatient Apache, Johnny Aquas Caliente, to our befuddled hapless long knife director.

Johnny

Don’t allow this Goshute to make me wait too long.  Remember, give me a 10 minute warning before my part comes up.  (The musical soundtract is stopped)

Narrator

Atypical Chiricahuan.  Very touchy bunch, Chiricahuans.  Geronimo was one of them.  Trouble makers all.  It’s almost impossible for them to get with the program.  You know historically, if there was ever a time when I might be inclined to side with the Long Knives it was in their campaign against…

Johnny

I’m a Mescalero!!  Get on with the narration the way it was written Goshute!!! (Johnny exits)

(If in front of a live audience, the director without saying a word walks up to the Narrator and angrily stabs his script three times with his index finger.  He does this while the script is lying flat and unread on top of the table, in front of Ryan Running Dog).

(Instrumental Shamanistic begins again)

Narrator (begrudgingly picking up his copy of the script)

This is the story about a white woman named Mary, who runs a boarding house full of interesting long knives, but nary the presence of a single Mescaleran trouble maker.

Johnny (off stage)

I heard that!!  That’s not in the script!!!  (slamming a door as he leaves the building)

Smith

Excuse me, I really hate to interrupt (music suddenly stops again) but since we seem to be continually improvising and veering off script so much, I said to myself, “What the Hell, why don’t you”, meaning me of course, “share an interesting factoid that some of the audience members might find very interesting”.

Narrator

Why not, not, Mormon?

Wesson

Let him speak, he might as well, since we have gone this far off the rails.

Smith

Thank you, Elder W.

Wesson

My pleasure, Elder S.

Narrator

This had better be a very interesting factoid, pinky white long knife.  I don’t like being interrupted.

Smith

It is, in fact it pertains to you.

Narrator

It does?

Smith

Yes.

Narrator

Spill it white eyes and be quick about it.

Smith

As you said, you’re a member of the Cedar Valley Goshute Band of the Western Shoshones.  Right?

Narrator

Right and hurry up, I’m already becoming bored with your factoid.

Smith

I haven’t gotten to it yet. 

Narrator

Get to it.  Tick tock.  Tick tock.

Smith

I pulled up that particular tribal group on Wikipedia, your tribal group, and did you know that your group is related to the ancient Aztecs? 

Narrator

Yes.  I am well aware of that factoid.  Old men love to tell stories about them around our camp fires, now kindly pipe down so that I might continue with my narration.

Wesson

I wasn’t aware of that factoid and I would like to hear the rest of what he has to say.  You do have more to say, right Elder S.?

Smith

Thank you Elder W., yes I certainly do. 

Wesson

You’re quite welcome Elder S.  Continue with the rest of your factoid.

Smith (pulling out a folded piece of paper from his shirt pocket)

Here’s a direct quote from Wikipedia:  “They”, meaning all Shoshones, “traditionally speak the Shoshoni language, part of the Numic languages branch of the larger Uto-Aztecan language family”.  This has to mean there is a point, back in time, when the Shoshones and Aztec tribes intersect into one single group, i. e. tribe.  In other words, they’re cousins; which I personally find to be quite ironic.

Narrator

Why is that ironic Mormon?

Smith.

Well, actually I’m not a Mormon, I’m only portraying one for this podcast.

Narrator

Why is that ironic, imaginary Mormon?

Smith

Well, for one thing the Aztecs were members of a highly advanced civilization; they excelled in architecture, medicine, agriculture, the arts and in militarily tactics.  They even developed underground sewage systems along with indoor plumbing, in fact they employed a system of aqueducts to transport fresh water daily to some of their larger cities.  In many of these townships every neighborhood would have its own public restroom, which was always maintained and kept clean.  The streets were also kept spotlessly clean by legions of workers on a daily basis, hired specifically for that purpose.  Personal and public hygiene was highly prized in that society, unlike the Spaniards who would later conquer them.  They, the Spaniards, were a very unhygienic people and were astonished by all the advancements and customs that they encountered when they entered into Aztecan cities.  And the most advanced city of them all was the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan.  Tenochtitlan in many ways made Madrid, seem like an open, fetid, cesspool by comparison; which in fact it actually was; a septic nightmare like any other large city in Europe at that time. 

Narrator

And this is ironic why?

Smith

Well, the various Shoshone tribal affiliations, way to the north, especially the Goshutes, if you are to believe the famous author Mark Twain, who wrote about them in his semi autobiographical account entitled “Roughing It”, were quite primitive; backward in fact.  Yet those two groups, one highly advanced, the Aztecs, and one not so, the Goshutes, were both branches from off the same family tree of this particular linguistic group, i.e. their fairly recent ancestors were all from the same tribe.

Narrator

Primitive?

Smith

Yes, absolutely.

Narrator

Backward you say?

Smith

According to Mark Twain they were.

(There is now a very long awkward pause as Smith and the Narrator are just silently staring at each other.  Then the narrator breaks the silence).

Narrator

Do you know, imaginary Mormon, what the problem is with most tomahawks?

Smith

No what?

(The instrumental Shamanistic starts in again)

Narrator

There is almost never one lying around handy when I need it. 

(At this he continues with his narration)

If you remember in the last episode, which was completely devoid of any rude Apaches, or smarmy know it all opinions, injected as factiods from imaginary Mormons, Henry Larond, the good looking ex-jail bird, former Mormon and now born again Christian, with an apparent axe to grind against the entire LDS Church, was visited by two pinky white skinned Mormon Missionaries by the names of Smith and Wesson.

Now picture this all you pinky white long knives, it is now the very next day and the two white women in the house are peering out of the parlor’s bay window.  And what is it that these two are so interested in?  They are now watching the two male long knives outside in the yard, the good looking ex-jail bird and ex-Mormon Henry Larond and the other male long knife tenant, Mortimer Spangle.  Who are now helping each other with gardening chores on the front lawn; presently raking leaves in fact.  Although autumn, it is a rather warm day, so to keep cool, the two good looking and rather muscular long knives have elected to go shirtless, as they complete their chores; causing the two women inside the parlor to gage their progress with great interest.  (now looking up from the scrip) This script is starting to read like a bad porno. 

Joni

Hmm, eye candy.

Mary

Who do you think looks better without his shirt on, Henry or Mortimer?

Henry (interrupting)

I’m sorry but should we be taking our shirts off?

Narrator

Why would you take your shirts off?  This is an audio podcast, not live action.

Henry

Just thought I would ask.

Joni

I think it might help add some realism.  (long pause while Ryan Running Dog stares at her blankly)  Never mind.  Where was I? 

Narrator

You were about to read “Given the difference in body types”.

Joni

Oh right.  Could Mary repeat her line, just before that one?

Mary

Who do you think looks better without his shirt on, Henry or Mortimer?

Joni

Given the difference in body types and the fact that he is three inches taller, I would have to give the edge to Henry, but just by a hair’s breath.

Mary (singing)

Joni likes Henry!!  Joni likes Henry!! 

Joni

Oh, and you don’t?

Mary

You’re getting sweet on him, aren’t you?

Joni

Oh, and you’re not?

Mary

Don’t look now sister, but we have a rival.

Joni

Who?

Mary

A Jewish carpenter from Nazareth.

Joni

You know, when he first showed up, I never figured him for a choir boy.  Why does he have to be so good looking and be so charming and yet be so religious?

Mary (shaking her head)

They always are Joni.  They always are.  All the pretty ones are found sitting in church pews.

Joni

Would that they were all found sitting in your hot tub in the backyard.

Mary

With or without swim trunks?

Joni

What do you think?

Mary

Makes you almost want to up and join the church choir doesn’t it?  Problem is.  I can’t sing.

Joni

Neither can I.

Narrator

I can.  I have a wonderful singing voice. Not that it makes and difference, because this isn’t a musical.

The next segment to this episode is entitled the “The Chase” and no, it’s not about two hot and bothered white women chasing after Henry Larond and Mortimer Spangle. 

Egad, it’s looks like I am going to be doing all the heavy lifting for the next several minutes.  Right now I am looking at whole pages of nothing but narration. I had better be getting paid more money for all this extra added dialogue long knives.  I don’t remember any of this being in the original script.  No wonder they plied me four shots of Bourbon before I signed my contract. 

Nevertheless, being the stoic, long suffering in silence type, I’ll pony soldier on without complaint and accept my lot in life.  No matter how unfair it is.  Here goes.  Except to say, I hope my voice does not give out and become hoarse.  I have other voice over gigs besides this one to worry about. Shoshones are in vogue this year.

(Shamanistic starts up again, on a long playing loop this time).

Now picture this white eyes, it is now three years prior to the present time.  In your pinky white minds try to imagine a county sheriff cruiser transporting a single, solitary prisoner down a long dusty, very straight, piece of highway.  Up ahead a man is standing on the side of the highway, it is the then still affiliated Mormon, who hasn’t yet been to prison, the very same good looking long knife Henry Larond.  The deputy recognizes Larond, as an old boyhood friend and who also happens to be the brother of the girl that was raped, tortured and murdered by the arrogant, unrepentant killer that he is now presently transporting. 

(The narrator looks up from the script and the instrumental pauses)

Okay, I imagine that many of you long knives listening to my voice right now, those that are actually paying attention, may be wondering why such high a profile prisoner, as this piece of white long knife trash, is doing being transferred in a small sheriff cruiser, by single sheriff deputy who is all by himself, with no back up to help guard his prisoner?  So am I.  The word implausible is now coursing through my brain. Oh, right, this is fiction.  I keep forgetting that.  Nevertheless, my duty is not to wonder why about gapping plot holes, large enough to drive Mack Trucks through. But to read the narration, then shut up and drink my rye (the narrator then takes a swig from a whiskey flask).  In this case good Kentucky Bourbon, not actually rye.  Medicine for my throat you understand.  Anyway, please gullible white people, forget everything I just said pertaining to this ridiculous twist in the story. Now back to this never ending narrative.

I’m starting to get angry hand signals from the director for veering off script again.  

So getting back to this very improvable situation, from three years back, the deputy then decides to stop his cruiser and pull over to the side of the highway to ask Larond what he is doing out there in the middle of nowhere. 

(Shamanistic starts up again)

The long knife, Larond walks up slowly to the cruiser and speaks in friendly terms to the deputy, but then apologetically pulls out a Smith and Wesson revolver and orders the deputy out of the car. (The Narrator looks up from the script again) 

Note the brand name on his preferred weapon of choice.  Coincidence?  I think not.  (looking down at the script again)  He then, very gently, disarms the lawman and carefully shackles him to a nearby post.  All of this without hurting the officer, as it is not the deputy whom Larond has come for. 

Then we see the long knife avenger of his sister enter the front seat of the cruiser to disable its radio.  There is now a look of fear and terror on the long knife child killer’s face, as he believes he is about to be executed by Larond for what he has done to his little 13 year old sister. 

The avenging long knife of his little sister then opens the back door and orders the cowardly prisoner out.  The prisoner, now suddenly no longer arrogant, obeys, begging, pleading and crying for mercy.  However, the very patient, long knife avenger of his little sister, does not kill him right off; as he has other plans at the moment.  There must be some Apache blood in this Larond, as they are also very patient when it comes to wrecking vengeance on their enemies; but this is only conjecture on my part.  Once again, back to the written script.  Larond then directs the man to a pony, which is tied to a tree.  He then has the man saddle up.  He even gives the killer of his sister a gallon canteen of water; not as a mercy however, but just to keep him alive for the next three to five days.  Then we hear Larond say audibly over the sound track, which still continues to drone on.

Henry

Those are the Sierra Nevada mountains, due west.  You best head for them to find water and grazing for the horse.  I’m giving you a one hour head start.  Then I’m coming to kill you.

Narrator

And then the Long Knife Larond tells the child killer/rapist of his little sister that no harm should befall the pony that he is riding.  It is his second most favorite horse in the world and if the animal is hurt or harmed in anyway, he will kill the coward much more slowly and painfully, than what he is already planning to do otherwise.  Do not wear her out, he warns the coward.  She is your only hope of getting away from me.  Then we see the child killer/rapist ride off in a panic; riding away on the pony provided him, as fast as he can; immediately forgetting the warning he had just received not to wear the poor animal out in the first place.  

(Narrator looks up from the script again)

As is noted in the last episode, “This is Theatre of the Mind, or as I prefer to call it, “The Theatre of the Too Cheap to Rent Horses for Live Action”

(then he starts reading again)

After the killer has ridden off we see Henry Larond calmly waiting and talking with the deputy.  Then after exactly one hour has passed, Larond releases the disarmed deputy, giving him his “now unloaded” weapons back to him.  Then we hear the deputy speak audibly over the soundtrack.

Deputy (who is also Wesson in the cast, but now dons and cowboy hat)

You are in the soup now Henry. Well, I guess I best go into Lone Pine to report this.  I’d better drive nice and slow and careful like, however.  So I don’t get lost along the way and waste the County’s time.  I’m not all that familiar with this part of the county, not like I used to be,

Narrator

He then smiles at Henry Larond, because he knows that Larond is an expert tracker. 

Deputy

Not like you do Henry.

Henry

Do your duty deputy.  So long.

Narrator

Then we see Larond glancing at a photograph of him with his lovely little sister.  He then puts it away carefully into his shirt pocket and swings up on his mount and calmly begins to search for the fleeing killer/rapist.

Deputy

Good hunting Henry Larond and God speed.

Narrator

Says the deputy to himself as he drives away to report Larond’s criminal actions to his superiors; albeit at a very leisurely pace.

Now picture this long knives in audience:  Henry Larond is being very careful not to wear his pony out; walking it while dismounted and when riding it, doing so only at the trot; while his prey is running his mount at break neck speeds; eventually to the point were the pony refuses to carry its rider any further; bucking him off and returning itself to the safety and protection of Larond; whom it now follows without being led.

At one point, a Sheriff’s scout plane appears over head to view the scene, but elects not to interfere.  The pilot risks his career with the department as he is another family friend of the Laronds’.  There is a photograph of him standing next Henry Larond and his beautiful little sister.  All three are smiling and holding a line of trout between them; fish that they caught from a nearby stream.  The photo is prominently displayed in the cockpit of pilot’s plane.

Pilot (read my Smith, who now is donning aviator sunglasses)

No I don’t see Larond or the other subject anywhere.

Narrator

The pilot now lies over his radio.

Now imagine nighttime scenes.  Larond is camping comfortably next to a fire, while the cowardly child killer/rapist shivers in the cold.  Like most long knives he does not know how to make fire without matches.  Then imagine daytime scenes of Larond, relentlessly closing in on the killer; who is now running haplessly on foot. 

(Shamanistic ends)

You will all be spared the final moments of the long knife Henry Larond’s retribution.  But it is definitely implied as you see him in your minds, dismounting and then slowly approaching the now exhausted, but still running, then stumbling, then crawling killer of his sister. 

End of Episode Three.  All rights received by the long knife who wrote it.

(This time the soundtrack is “Dragon and Toast”, also by Kevin Macleod, which runs as the end credits roll, recited by Ryan Running Dog, the Narrator).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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